U.S. Stocks Climb Off Worst Levels But Remain Mostly Lower

After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks have regained some ground but remain mostly lower during trading on Friday. The major averages have all moved lower after ending the previous session mixed.

Currently, the Dow is down 199.97 points or 0.6 percent at 34,195.04, the Nasdaq is down 131.39 points or 1.1 percent at 11,351.06 and the S&P 500 is down 35.62 points or 0.9 percent at 4,040.95.

The weakness on Wall Street comes following the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report, which showed stronger than expected job growth in the month of November.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 263,000 jobs in November after surging by an upwardly revised 284,000 jobs in October.

Economists had expected employment to shoot up by 200,000 jobs compared to the addition of 261,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent in November, unchanged from October and in line with economist estimates.

While the report points to continued strength in the labor market, the data may added to lingering uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates.

The Federal Reserve is likely to slow the pace of interest rate hikes as early as next month, but continued labor market tightness may still lead the central bank to raise rates higher than currently anticipated.

Semiconductor stocks have shown a significant move to the downside on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 2.4 percent.

Considerable weakness is also visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.

Banking, airline and networking stocks are also seeing notable weakness, while tobacco stocks have shown a strong move to the upside.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving sharply higher over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 7.6 basis points at 3.605 percent.

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